L.A. film shoots up 9% in ’05

Local pic, TV production climb

The Los Angeles region saw a 9% rise in off-lot feature activity last year along with a 3% increase in TV shooting, the Film L.A. agency has reported.

Permitted feature film production days increased 811 days to 9,518 — well below the peak of 13,980 days in 1996. Film production on public property in Los Angeles declined for seven consecutive years from 1997 to 2003, then rose 19% in 2004.

TV activity rose 483 days to 18,740 days on the heels of a 27% surge in 2004, with last year’s gains due to a successful pilot season and expanded production for original cable programming.

Commercial shooting rose 4% to 6,983 permitted production days, according to Film L.A., which acts as a permit coordinator and tracking agency.

Film L.A. president Steve MacDonald said he’s concerned that Los Angeles is not capturing its share of increased production around the world due to a lack of financial incentives for producers. “Other jurisdictions, such as New York City, are celebrating dramatic growth in production activity thanks to very aggressive incentive programs,” he added.

MacDonald also said reality shows, which constitute 30% of TV location activity in Los Angeles, generate less economic activity than traditional TV shows. “These shows have budgets that are generally smaller than those of scripted programs, so they employ fewer production resources, whether it’s talent, crews, sets or locations,” he added.

MacDonald said early reports indicate fewer TV pilots will be produced this year compared with 2005.

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